From the Molecular World

A Nineteenth-Century Science Fantasy

  • Alan J. Rocke

Part of the SpringerBriefs in Molecular Science book series (BRIEFSMOLECULAR)

Also part of the SpringerBriefs in History of Chemistry book sub series (BRIESFHISTCHEM)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-vii
  2. Alan J. Rocke, Hermann Kopp
    Pages 1-27
  3. Alan J. Rocke, Hermann Kopp
    Pages 29-104
  4. Back Matter
    Pages 105-105

About this book


Hermann Kopp (1817–1892) is best remembered today as a historian of chemistry, but during his lifetime he was one of the most eminent chemists of his day, and one of the earliest pioneers of physical chemistry.  Late in his career he wrote an endearing fantasy about personified molecules.  Published in 1882, Aus der Molecular-Welt (From the Molecular World) portrayed the intimate details of what might actually be happening in the sub-microscopic world; the atoms and molecules we meet there have agency, personalities, sometimes even dialog.  Filled with appealing tropes, humor, and whimsical asides, Kopp’s short book provided an examination of the chemistry and physics of his day that was always light-hearted on the surface, but often surprisingly profound.  Properly interpreted, the book provides a revealing tour of nineteenth-century debates concerning chemical theory.  It is here translated into English, richly annotated, and equipped with an illuminating preface by a leading historian of chemistry.  It will provide entertaining reading to practicing chemists, as well as new insights to historians of science.


Alan Rocke August Kekulé Aus der Molecular-Welt Hermann Kolbe Hermann Kopp historians of chemistry history of chemical theory history of chemistry history of physical chemistry molecular world

Authors and affiliations

  • Alan J. Rocke
    • 1
  1. 1., Department of HistoryCase Western Reserve UniversityClevelandUSA

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Author(s) 2012
  • Publisher Name Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg
  • eBook Packages Chemistry and Materials Science
  • Print ISBN 978-3-642-27415-2
  • Online ISBN 978-3-642-27416-9
  • Series Print ISSN 2191-5407
  • Series Online ISSN 2191-5415
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